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Second Careers: Skin-Care Entrepreneur

She took a natural path

Skincare Entrepreneur Cynthia Besteman shows off her products in a meeting

Dustin Cohen

CYNTHIA BESTEMAN, 52 | $100,000 a year

Home: New York

Previous life: Real estate broker

"The darkest period of your life may reveal a brilliant, beautiful gift."

Why she did it: At age 46, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After my treatment, I vowed to clean up everything in my life that wasn’t healthy. I researched what was in my skin care: sulfates and other chemicals that can act as endocrine disruptors. I was shocked.

How she succeeded: I enrolled in classes and began learning how to make natural cosmetics and work with plant-based mixtures. Two years after my diagnosis, I was ready for market. Today the line is available online at Anthropologie, and I donate skin-care products to those undergoing cancer treatments. 

What you need to know: The darkest period of your life may reveal a brilliant, beautiful gift. My cancer led me to found a business I am passionate about.

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